This project is addressing two important environmental issues by evaluating the use of crushed fines from recycled concrete to treat wastewater containing high levels of chlorides. Chlorides from deicer use are a significant source of runoff contamination. Chlorides are highly soluble, non-degradable, difficult to remove, and tend to accumulate over time. In addition, chlorides can combine with heavy metals, rendering many of them more water soluble and therefore more damaging to soils, vegetation, wildlife, and aquatic species. The second issue is that construction and demolition waste is the largest single source of all generated municipal solid waste. The EPA has reported that in 2013 335 million tons of concrete demolition waste were generated in the U.S., of which an estimated 10 percent could not be recycled for new construction. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of crushed fines from recycled concrete (CFRCs), followed by nano-modified cement paste powder (NMCPP), and use them as reactive filter media to treat synthetic wastewater with high levels of chlorides and typical levels of total phosphorus, total nitrogen and metals. The researchers will also explore the mechanisms underlying contaminant removal by these engineered sorbents.
Principal Investigator: Xianming Shi, Civil and Environmental Engineering, WSU
Sponsor: Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates
Scheduled completion: June 2018